Dr Paul Mason

B.Biomed.Sci. Hons(Sci) Grad.Cert.Arts(Anth) PhD(Anth)
Research Fellow
Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine


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Biographical details

My research spans a wide range of topics from medical anthropology to human research ethics.My postdoctoral research at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research took me to Vietnam to study tuberculosis care and prevention. Now outranking HIV/AIDS as the biggest infectious killer, tuberculosis continues to impact upon the lives of millions every year. With the support of a seeding grant from the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Tuberculosis, I conducted fieldwork in Ca Mau, the southernmost province of Vietnam. I interviewed 75 people living with TB, facilitated focus-group discussions in several villages, and conducted participant-observation fieldwork in clinic, laboratory and community settings as well as semi-structured interviews with scientists, health care workers, administrators, and representatives of funding bodies involved with TB control and health care reforms in Vietnam. This research was focused on the illness experience and health-seeking behaviours of TB patients as well as the social, economic, and political dimensions of TB care and prevention. Connecting public policy with clinical practice, this research addressed the ethical and regulatory issues that impact upon diagnostic delay for people living with tuberculosis in Vietnam. With a strong belief in social integration and a desire to live in a world free of the impoverished conditions that foster diseases such as tuberculosis, I continue to collaborate with clinical researchers, epidemiologists and laboratory scientists on key research questions in tuberculosis care and prevention. My current research at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicineis on the ethics of biobanking in the context of globalisation.

Research interests

  • Medical anthropology with a specialization in qualitative and mixed-methods research on tuberculosis care and prevention
  • Topics in bioethics including neuroethics, the politics and ethics of infectious disease, as well as theethical and regulatory dimensions relating to the access and control of human tissues

Teaching and supervision

My core teaching experience is in the anthropology of the body with a concentration in medical anthropology, psychological anthropology, and human evolution. I have taught a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at several Australian universities including Sydney University, Melbourne University, the University of Western Sydney, the University of Tasmania in Sydney, and La Trobe University.I have co-supervised Masters and PhD students in Public Health and mentored a selection of undergraduate, postgraduate and summer students at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. I have an interest in supervising a broad range of postgraduate projects related to the anthropology of the body including topics in the fields of bioethics, medical anthropology, globalisation, and science and technology studies.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Comparing stigma in MDR-TB and drug susceptible TB patients in northern Vietnam Lisa REDWOOD

Current projects

Currently, I am working on an NHMRC-funded research project called "Biobank Networks, Medical Research and the Challenge of Globalisation." Medical research increasingly relies on large-scale biobanks that store tissue samples from healthy donors or patients. Human biobanks are being established globally. Their transnational networks are expanding rapidly as a consequence of globalisation, with the role of such networks in biomedical research becoming ever more central. International networks of biobanks are scientifically valuable but raise numerous practical, legal and ethical challenges. My research is aimed at developing ethically rigorous strategies to ensure that Australian donors and biobanks contribute to, and benefit from, international biobank networks.

Associations

  • Honorary Affiliate, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research
  • Scholarly Teaching Fellow, Macquarie University
  • Fellow member, Australian Anthropological Society
  • Member, Global Young Academy
  • Member, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

Awards and honours

  • Ann Woolcock Early Career Researcher International Training Award (2015)
  • Outstanding Alumni Award, Global Leadership Program, Macquarie University (2013)
  • Global Leadership Excellence Award, Global Leadership Program, Macquarie University (2011)

In the media

  • Global Tuberculosis Awareness, World TB Day by Jessica Klajman on 2SER 107.3FM, Tuesday, 24 March 2015. Produced by Joel Vouzakis. http://www.2ser.com/component/k2/item/14266-world-tb-day
  • The culture of using antibiotics as placebo must stop, Croakey 20 November 2015. http://croakey.org/call-to-action-the-culture-of-using-antibiotics-as-placebo-must-stop/
  • Scientists take proactive approach in tuberculosis battle, Interviewed by Stephanie Smail on ABC Radio, Tuesday, 16 December 2014. http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s4149950.htm
  • Did Better Mothering Defeat the Neanderthals? COSMOS 3 March 2014. https://cosmosmagazine.com/life-sciences/did-better-mothering-defeat-neanderthals

Selected publications

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Books

  • Mason, P. (2016). Phuong and An go to the doctor. Sydney: Enculture Press.
  • Mason, P. (2016). Phuong va An bi benh. Sydney: Enculture Press.

Edited Books

  • Paetzold, U., Mason, P. (2016). The Fighting Art of Pencak Silat and its Music: From Southeast Asian Village to Global Movement. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • Hooker, L., Degeling, C., Mason, P. (2016). Dying a Natural Death: Ethics and Political Activism for Endemic Infectious Disease. In Kari Nixon, Lorenzo Servitje (Eds.), Endemic: Essays in contagion theory, (pp. 265-290). London: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). What Is Normal? A Historical Survey and Neuroanthropological Perspective. In Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, (pp. 343-363). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]

Journals

  • Mason, P., Maleszka, R., Dominguez D, J. (2017). Another stage of development: Biological degeneracy and the study of bodily ageing. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 163, 46-51. [More Information]
  • Degeling, C., Denholm, J., Mason, P., Kerridge, I., Dawson, A. (2017). Eliminating latent tuberculosis in low-burden settings: Are the principal beneficiaries to be disadvantaged groups or the broader population? Journal of Medical Ethics, 43(9), 632-636. [More Information]
  • Cheung, J., Saini, B., Bartlett, D., Laba, T., Mason, P. (2017). Mapping the illness trajectories of insomnia: a biographical disruption? Sociology of Health & Illness, 39(5), 659-679. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Roy, A., Singh, P. (2017). Reciprocity-Building and the Importance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Tuberculosis Research. Journal of Biosocial Science, 49(4), 559-562. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Kerridge, I., Lipworth, W. (2017). The global in global health is not a given. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 96(4), 767-769. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Snow, K., Asugeni, R., Massey, P., Viney, K. (2017). Tuberculosis and gender in the Asia-Pacific region. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(3), 227-229. [More Information]
  • Hebets, E., Barron, A., Balakrishnan, C., Hauber, M., Mason, P., Hoke, K. (2016). A systems approach to animal communication. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283(1826), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Degeling, C. (2016). Beyond Biomedicine: Relationships and Care in Tuberculosis Prevention. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 13(1), 31-34. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2016). Development and Public Health in the Himalaya: Reflections on Healing in Contemporary Nepal. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 13(1), 163-165. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Lipworth, W., Kerridge, I. (2016). More Than One Way to Be Global: Globalization of Research and the Contest of Ideas. The American Journal of Bioethics, 16(10), 48-49. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Roy, A., Spillane, J., Singh, P. (2016). Social, historical and cultural dimensions of tuberculosis. Journal of Biosocial Science, 48(2), 206-232. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Sweetland, A., Fox, G., Halovic, S., Nguyen, T., Marks, G. (2016). Tuberculosis and mental health in the Asia-Pacific. Australasian Psychiatry, 24(6), 553-555. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Oni, T., Van Herpen, M., Coussens, A. (2016). Tuberculosis prevention must integrate technological and basic care innovation. European Respiratory Journal, 48(5), 1529-1531. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). Book Review of [Margaret Lock, The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013]. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 26(2), 316-317.
  • Mason, P. (2015). Degeneracy: Demystifying and destigmatizing a core concept in systems biology. Complexity, 20(3), 12-21. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Dominguez D, J., Winter, B., Grignolio, A. (2015). Hidden in plain view: Degeneracy in complex systems. BioSystems, 128, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). Invited Book Review of [Disease and Crime: A History of Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health, edited by Robert Peckham, Routledge Studies in Cultural History, 2013]. Social History, 40(4), 566-568. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). Invited book review of Senses and Citizenships: embodying political life. A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 12(2), 171-174.
  • Mason, P. (2015). Mason, P.H. (2015) Comparative Book Review of [The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis, by Thomas Goetz; and Experiment Eleven: Deceit and Betrayal in the Discovery of the Cure for Tuberculosis by Peter Pringle]. Health and History, 17(1), 106-108. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Degeling, C., Denholm, J. (2015). Sociocultural dimensions of tuberculosis: An overview of key concepts. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 19(10), 1135-1143. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2014). Book review of 'Spitting blood: the history of tuberculosis' by Helen Bynum, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 320 pp. Anthropology and Medicine, 21(3), 357-358. [More Information]
  • Maleszka, R., Mason, P., Barron, A. (2014). Epigenomics and the concept of degeneracy in biological systems. Briefings in Functional Genomics, 13(3), 191-202. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2014). Invited Book review of 'Isabel Gillard, Circe's Island: A young woman's memories of tuberculosis treatment in the 1950s' Glasgow, Unbound Press, 2010. Health and History, 16(2), 167-168.
  • Mason, P. (2014). Invited Book review of 'The Ailing City: Health, Tuberculosis, and Culture in Buenos Aires, 1870-1950' by Diego Armus, Durham, Duke University Press, 2011. Health and History, 16(1), 126-127.
  • Mason, P. (2014). The Liminal Body : Comment on Privacy in the Context of 'Re-emergent' Infectious Diseases by Justin T. Denholm and Ian H. Kerridge. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 11(4), 565-566. [More Information]

2017

  • Mason, P., Maleszka, R., Dominguez D, J. (2017). Another stage of development: Biological degeneracy and the study of bodily ageing. Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 163, 46-51. [More Information]
  • Degeling, C., Denholm, J., Mason, P., Kerridge, I., Dawson, A. (2017). Eliminating latent tuberculosis in low-burden settings: Are the principal beneficiaries to be disadvantaged groups or the broader population? Journal of Medical Ethics, 43(9), 632-636. [More Information]
  • Cheung, J., Saini, B., Bartlett, D., Laba, T., Mason, P. (2017). Mapping the illness trajectories of insomnia: a biographical disruption? Sociology of Health & Illness, 39(5), 659-679. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Roy, A., Singh, P. (2017). Reciprocity-Building and the Importance of Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Tuberculosis Research. Journal of Biosocial Science, 49(4), 559-562. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Kerridge, I., Lipworth, W. (2017). The global in global health is not a given. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 96(4), 767-769. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Snow, K., Asugeni, R., Massey, P., Viney, K. (2017). Tuberculosis and gender in the Asia-Pacific region. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(3), 227-229. [More Information]

2016

  • Hebets, E., Barron, A., Balakrishnan, C., Hauber, M., Mason, P., Hoke, K. (2016). A systems approach to animal communication. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283(1826), 1-10. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Degeling, C. (2016). Beyond Biomedicine: Relationships and Care in Tuberculosis Prevention. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 13(1), 31-34. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2016). Development and Public Health in the Himalaya: Reflections on Healing in Contemporary Nepal. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 13(1), 163-165. [More Information]
  • Hooker, L., Degeling, C., Mason, P. (2016). Dying a Natural Death: Ethics and Political Activism for Endemic Infectious Disease. In Kari Nixon, Lorenzo Servitje (Eds.), Endemic: Essays in contagion theory, (pp. 265-290). London: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Lipworth, W., Kerridge, I. (2016). More Than One Way to Be Global: Globalization of Research and the Contest of Ideas. The American Journal of Bioethics, 16(10), 48-49. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2016). Phuong and An go to the doctor. Sydney: Enculture Press.
  • Mason, P. (2016). Phuong va An bi benh. Sydney: Enculture Press.
  • Mason, P., Roy, A., Spillane, J., Singh, P. (2016). Social, historical and cultural dimensions of tuberculosis. Journal of Biosocial Science, 48(2), 206-232. [More Information]
  • Paetzold, U., Mason, P. (2016). The Fighting Art of Pencak Silat and its Music: From Southeast Asian Village to Global Movement. Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Sweetland, A., Fox, G., Halovic, S., Nguyen, T., Marks, G. (2016). Tuberculosis and mental health in the Asia-Pacific. Australasian Psychiatry, 24(6), 553-555. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Oni, T., Van Herpen, M., Coussens, A. (2016). Tuberculosis prevention must integrate technological and basic care innovation. European Respiratory Journal, 48(5), 1529-1531. [More Information]

2015

  • Mason, P. (2015). Book Review of [Margaret Lock, The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013]. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 26(2), 316-317.
  • Mason, P. (2015). Degeneracy: Demystifying and destigmatizing a core concept in systems biology. Complexity, 20(3), 12-21. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Dominguez D, J., Winter, B., Grignolio, A. (2015). Hidden in plain view: Degeneracy in complex systems. BioSystems, 128, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). Invited Book Review of [Disease and Crime: A History of Social Pathologies and the New Politics of Health, edited by Robert Peckham, Routledge Studies in Cultural History, 2013]. Social History, 40(4), 566-568. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). Invited book review of Senses and Citizenships: embodying political life. A Journal of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies, 12(2), 171-174.
  • Mason, P. (2015). Mason, P.H. (2015) Comparative Book Review of [The Remedy: Robert Koch, Arthur Conan Doyle, and the Quest to Cure Tuberculosis, by Thomas Goetz; and Experiment Eleven: Deceit and Betrayal in the Discovery of the Cure for Tuberculosis by Peter Pringle]. Health and History, 17(1), 106-108. [More Information]
  • Mason, P., Degeling, C., Denholm, J. (2015). Sociocultural dimensions of tuberculosis: An overview of key concepts. International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, 19(10), 1135-1143. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2015). What Is Normal? A Historical Survey and Neuroanthropological Perspective. In Jens Clausen, Neil Levy (Eds.), Handbook of Neuroethics, (pp. 343-363). Dordrecht: Springer. [More Information]

2014

  • Mason, P. (2014). Book review of 'Spitting blood: the history of tuberculosis' by Helen Bynum, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 320 pp. Anthropology and Medicine, 21(3), 357-358. [More Information]
  • Maleszka, R., Mason, P., Barron, A. (2014). Epigenomics and the concept of degeneracy in biological systems. Briefings in Functional Genomics, 13(3), 191-202. [More Information]
  • Mason, P. (2014). Invited Book review of 'Isabel Gillard, Circe's Island: A young woman's memories of tuberculosis treatment in the 1950s' Glasgow, Unbound Press, 2010. Health and History, 16(2), 167-168.
  • Mason, P. (2014). Invited Book review of 'The Ailing City: Health, Tuberculosis, and Culture in Buenos Aires, 1870-1950' by Diego Armus, Durham, Duke University Press, 2011. Health and History, 16(1), 126-127.
  • Mason, P. (2014). The Liminal Body : Comment on Privacy in the Context of 'Re-emergent' Infectious Diseases by Justin T. Denholm and Ian H. Kerridge. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 11(4), 565-566. [More Information]

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